Worrying signs on maternal mortality, HIV – mid year report

While there have been some positive results in the health sector, there are worrying signs on maternal mortality and HIV cases according to the mid-year report by the Ministry of Finance.

Delivered in  Parliament on Wednesday, the report said that though the maternal mortality ratio, has fallen to 84 per 100,000 live births, at mid-2018, it is still well above the target of 70 per 100,000 live births, for 2018.

Further, the report said that in relation to HIV/AIDS, preliminary data indicates that the number of new reported cases of HIV stands at 247 as at end-May, “a worrying trend of increase in this epidemic that has been observed for the period 2013-2017”.

The report also cited adolescent health where the percentage of pregnant adolescents within the last year was reported to be 24 percent, for 2017, but stands at 23 percent at the half year, 2018.

There was good news as it relates to medevac costs. In the first half of 2018, only $49 million needed to be expended on medevacs as opposed to the same period in 2017 when $100 million was needed. In addition, the number of regional hospitals equipped to provide specialist care rose from 60 percent, in 2017, to 75 percent as at mid-2018.

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